Will Munro was a legendary artist, DJ, activist and impresario, as renowned for his transgressive, irreverent art as he was for reinventing Toronto's nightlife culture. His installations and prints co-opted rock 'n' roll imagery and raunchy gay iconography – you couldn't look at men's underwear the same way after a Munro show – and his outre Vazaleen dance parties brought to the city's stages some of the most notorious performers of the last forty years: Nina Hagen, Jayne County and Vaginal Davis, among them. When Munro died of brain cancer in 2010, at the unfathomably young age of thirty-five, Toronto was robbed of one of its most significant civic heroes.
Army of Lovers collects stories from and about the people who knew and loved Munro – including Gossip singer Beth Ditto, filmmaker Bruce LaBruce and artist Luis Jacob – to movingly capture an incandescent moment when Toronto's queer community, art scene and independent music universe came of age and collided with one another.
In the summer of 69, Jordan May March, a young disabled teenager, feels like an outcast among her extended adoptive family. She spends her time studying Top 40 radio and imagining scenarios for her conception and birth involving parents she'll never know. She feels a kinship with a trained bear named Yogi, kept in a cage by a cruel neighbor, and scribbles diary entries about being born into Little Women's March kin, "kidnapped from her bassinet by Southern sympathizers," or becoming the bastard child of John F. Kennedy. These entries affectively reveal a desperately sad young woman seeking her creation story and a sense of belonging. Palmer riddles her novel with colloquialisms the narrator calls "Marchspeak," such as "we knew which side our bread was buttered on and who held the knife," and paints a compelling, at times scattered tale of Jordan's destiny to be "Yogi's savior and the agent... of her demise." She deftly captures the unraveling of a young girl's already fragile psyche, arriving at a late-book reveal that will send some readers running back to page one. \n